I have been busy with a project these past few weeks. I can’t go into any details but I will say that it has kept me quite busy. Culmination of said project took place this past weekend and I have to say that it all turned out fantastically. I am EXTREMELY self-critical (actually a bit OTT – that’s why I no longer post that many craft project attempts) and so if I say that it went really well, then REALLY it turned out fabulously. I have never ever considered myself to be a perfectionist but I am thinking that maybe I do have some perfectionist tendencies. Believe me, I am working on it.
I got MANY compliments about it and my love tank was OVERFLOWING. Until I got one bit of negative feedback.
I didn’t pay attention to that feedback because the person who gave it to me is generally a hater and I got the sense that he was really trying to dig deep to have something negative to say. I actually hung up the phone while he was talking to me and then proceeded to switch it off . I know that this reaction was childish of me but I was exhausted (this project took a lot out of me) and I really wasn’t going to listen to crap from him. In EVERY situation in my life, I get an average of 10-15 people affirming me positively and then I get him. He’s a hater. Period. I’m moving on.
When I spoke to a friend about him earlier she rolled her eyes and asked me if I was REALLY worried about THAT person’s opinion. So even SHE knows what a hater he is.
After this had gone down last night (and he called me WHILE I was watching Glee to spew this rubbish – VERY BIG MISTAKE!) I spent time thinking about criticism in general.
I believe that I am OK with accepting criticism. BUT. It depends on HOW you do it. If it is done with the intention to break me then my walls WILL go up and I will become defensive – it doesn’t matter how valid your criticism is. Because really, it’s not WHAT you say but the WAY in which you say it.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when it comes from a place of love, when it is done beautifully, lovingly, gently, kindly. I am a words person so if you know HOW to use your words then it doesn’t matter WHAT the situation is, you can STAY!
I love when it is done with the intention of helping me to improve, of building me, of encouraging me. I LOVE that. There are VERY few people who do it this way and who actually KNOW how to do it.
I personally have learned to keep my opinions to myself (it depends on who it is though) but I believe that I am really good with giving criticism. I will always wait for people to ask. And because I am a words person, I will use my words to BUILD. NOT break.
My parents have taught me that it needs to come from a place of love. ALWAYS. It needs to come from a place of genuine care and concern. ALWAYS. And that one needs to ask yourself these questions BEFORE you go ahead and criticize:
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
Is it fair?
Does it build or does it break?
I try my utmost to keep these questions in mind before I criticize anyone. I do occasionally get it wrong but mostly (I’m proud to say) I get it right. Believe me, it’s hard work to get this right and it does require a certain level of awareness. It has taken YEARS of practice for me to acquire the diplomacy skill.
Fact is, no matter how much positive feedback I get, it will usually be the ONE Negative Nancy’s comment that stays with me. Why is this? Are you like this too?
How do you handle criticism? Are you an extremely critical person? Do you dish it out EVEN when it is not asked for? What are your criticism “rules”?
Ps…Every time I wrote the word “criticism” in this post I spelt it wrong. S before the C. After I while I swore at myself!
Pps…I remembered an article that I read a few months ago on criticism and I LOVED it. Read it here.